Choose from 13 Fun Things to Do in Ottawa
- The National Gallery of Canada is a must-visit for art lovers, and for anyone with an interest in Canadian cultural heritage.
- The National Gallery is entirely accessible to wheelchair users.
- Wear comfortable shoes, as you’ll be on your feet for much of the visit.
- Ottawa Notre Dame Basilica is a must-visit for anyone with an interest in religious art or architecture.
- The basilica is an active Roman Catholic church. Be quiet and respectful of worshippers engaging in prayer or reflection.
- Concerts are occasionally staged at the cathedral; check ahead to see if any are taking place during your stay in Ottawa.
- The basilica is accessible to wheelchair users and strollers.
- Algonquin Provincial Park is a must for wildlife lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
- For information and tips, stop by the Algonquin Visitor Centre, situated along Highway 60.
- Algonquin Provincial Park has wheelchair-accessible campgrounds, trails (Spruce Bog Boardwalk Trail and Fire Tower Trail), and visitor facilities, including the Algonquin Visitor Centre and Algonquin Logging Museum.
- Visitors can observe debates in the Senate and the Commons. Check ahead to make sure the chambers are sitting during your visit and be prepared for lengthy security checks.
- Centre Block tours last between 20 and 50 minutes, depending on parliamentary activity, while East Block tours are typically 30 to 40 minutes long.
- Visitors to Parliament can carry one small bag; other bags must be checked in at the ticket office.
- Tours and access points are wheelchair-accessible.
- State visits and other parliamentary activity can occasionally prevent public access.
- The Canadian Museum of History is a must-see for history and culture buffs, and for families, with the on-site children’s museum showcasing the various cultures and countries of the world.
- To help find your way around, download or pick up a copy of the Museum Guide at the information desk.
- The museum is fully accessible to wheelchair users. Wheelchairs and strollers are available free of charge at the coat check.
- Allow at least three hours to properly explore the museum.
- From May through Labor Day (the first Monday of September), ByWard Market Ambassadors are on-hand to provide additional information about the market.
- The market has both indoor and outdoor sections.
- Much of the market and its businesses are accessible to wheelchair users.
- Gatineau Park is a must-see for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
- Some parts of the park, including Breton Beach at Philippe Lake, and the Mackenzie King Estate, are accessible to wheelchair users.
- Free Wi-Fi is available at the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre, which is located at the park entrance in Chelsea.
- The Royal Mint is a must-see for history buffs.
- Guided tours are given in English and French.
- The mint facility is accessible to wheelchair users.
- Browse the gift shop, where you can purchase collectible coins.
The Ottawa Locks 1 to 8 regulate the flow of the city’s signature Rideau Canal as it flows south from the Ottawa River.
The hand-cranked locks provide a gradient of 24 meters (79 feet) on the canal, which runs for more than 200 km (124 miles) from Ottawa to Kingston, a stunning example of 19th-century ingenuity and engineering.
In winter, the 8 km (5-mile) stretch of canal running through the center of the city freezes over, providing the world’s longest skating rink. In summer, walkers and cyclers promenade along the canal’s banks.
One of the best ways to see the canal locks and Ottawa is aboard a scenic canal or river cruise.
The Ottawa Locks 1 to 8 run from the Chateau Laurier hotel to Carlton University. The locks operate from May to October.
- Bike and boat tours on the canal run from May through October.
- If you’re going in winter, bundle up, as temperatures frequently drop below freezing.
- Fishing is allowed on some parts of the waterway, including Dow’s Lake. An Ontario fishing permit and outdoors card are required.